I'm becoming Orthodox

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Taufgesinnter, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. Taufgesinnter

    Taufgesinnter
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    Hi, all!

    I just thought I'd let you be among the first to know that I'm seriously considering becoming Orthodox, so I won't be posting on the Baptist-only fora anymore.

    I examined Orthodoxy a little bit a couple of years ago and again last year. What I read was so persuasive and thus so frightening, that I put all the materials away, writing a Word file of books to read or reread several years from now and sending everything back to its respective library. Despite that resolve to stay away, I peeked here and there occasionally at things on the web, then scurried away again. I had no one to talk about all this with, as none of my Continental Baptist friends could have been expected even to begin to understand, though at least I could've counted on most of them to dissuade me, which I certainly would've wanted. Nevertheless, by keeping things largely out of sight, out of mind, I was able to maintain my evangelicalism and my Radical Reformation views intact. There were little cracks made in my armor now and again, though, because I still continued on occasion to read church history, especially early church history.

    Then last month, something amazing happened. On most major theological, doctrinal, and biblical issues in my growth over the last decade or so, either my best friend or I would finally tell the other that we had been studying this thing or that thing, or had come to the conclusion that such-and-such was the original intent behind a favorite Scripture passage, or some pet teaching of ours didn't really seem to be scriptural on closer examination. You get the idea, I hope. Normally, we would have one to three several-hours-long heart-to-hearts like that each year. We found that time after time, year after year, over and over with very few exceptions, we kept "paralleling" each other. We kept walking the same paths, often unbeknownst to each other for months at a time, then would go ahead and bring it up, only to find that we'd taken the same turn or chosen the same exact fork in the road. Continually amazing.

    In May, my best friend's curiosity was piqued reading about Orthodoxy in a denominational handbook (Mead, 11th ed.), and days later, out of the blue and very uncharacteristically, he called a couple of Orthodox presbyters. He made and kept an appointment with one of them to talk about the Orthodox Faith. He found his Anabaptist views were seriously challenged by what he learned during this talk and by reading the materials given him; in one instance after another, not only did he find historical facts did not line up with his evangelical or Taufgesinnte teachings, but also that the spiritual journeys of others entering Orthodoxy that he was reading reflected his own. He then confessed his experiences, feelings, and new knowledge to me, albeit with trepidation. Naturally, he was shocked when I told him that I had done the same investigation and some of the same reading nearly two years before. And I was astounded that we had once again paralleled each other. In earnest, we joined forces in our investigation. Now we started having heart-to-hearts many hours long several times every week.

    One potential problem was that his wife was an ex-Catholic and Orthodoxy bears some superficial resemblance to Catholicism, mostly in those things that both shared before the Great Schism in 1054. She opposes Catholicism so much that even things that remind her of it are anathema. She didn't understand the changes her husband was undergoing. She also felt left out of our talks, but her "Romophobia" made her uneasy--often very uneasy--when he did try to broach the subject with her. Several weeks into our investigation, though, after she'd been praying over the matter, she was receptive to having him summarize what he had learned; she asked many questions and they discussed Orthodox history, doctrine, and practice for hours. Literally overnight, she embraced everything. The very next evening, she solidly and thoroughly defended Orthodoxy, all on her own, against a very skeptical relative. It definitely seemed to be the moving and blessing of the Holy Spirit.

    All three of us may be catechumens this fall.

    I thought you might like to know,
    Tauf
     
  2. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Ed looks into his book of blessings
    for a blessing for
    Baptists Converting to Orthodox -- ah,here
    it is on page 1247:

    May God's best blessings be unto Brother
    Taufgesinnter, his family, and his ministry.
    May this request be honored so that all the more
    Glory and Honor will be given unto our Blessed
    Lord and Savior: Messiah Yeshua. Amen
     
  3. Taufgesinnter

    Taufgesinnter
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    Thank you! [​IMG]
     
  4. SouthernBoy

    SouthernBoy
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    Tauf,

    I have been thinking of becoming Eastern Orthodox myself. I was raised Southern Baptist but now I feel the truth lies elsewhere. I love Jesus and I trust He will led me to the Truth.
     
  5. Taufgesinnter

    Taufgesinnter
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    You definitely wouldn't be alone.

    There's a story about the most famous ex-Southern Baptist I know of in the Orthodox Church here.

    How long have you been looking into Orthodoxy?
     
  6. D28guy

    D28guy
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    Taufgesinnter

    I'm curious...I dont know that much about the Orthodox faith...but do they acknowledge the truth of justification through faith alone, and the truth that it is the scriptures alone that we are to turn to for authoritative truth?

    Thanks, and God bless,

    Mike
     
  7. steaver

    steaver
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    I never really researched this. What key difference is there between them and say baptist? And do the differences carry any eternal wieght?

    God Bless!
     
  8. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Taufgesinnter, I would be interested in your communicating to us specific things about the Orthodox position you found so persuasive, teachings that seemed more scriptural, points that challenged the Anabaptist viewpoint, historical facts that changed your mind, etc. I can't begin to fathom what about Orthodoxy would look like the New Testament church. I don't want to debate about it - just want to understand something about what you're seeing. Thanks.
     
  9. steaver

    steaver
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    Me too! :D
     
  10. rsr

    rsr
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    Tauf, I'm confused.

    "One potential problem was that his wife was an ex-Catholic and Orthodoxy bears some superficial resemblance to Catholicism, mostly in those things that both shared before the Great Schism in 1054."

    In what vital areas do the Latin Rite and the Orthodox church disagree (except on papal supremacy, Purgatory and liturgy?)
     
  11. Marcia

    Marcia
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    The Orthodox believe that the icons have a spiritual connection to the saints they depict.

    Orthodoxy also has a belief called Theosis, that man can participate in God's divine nature without becoming God himself.

    From the same link as above (a very good overview of Orthodoxy, btw)
    Other good articles:
    http://www.probe.org/content/view/619/148/

    http://www.onearthasinheaven.com/beliefs.html

    They also believe that one must be baptized to be saved. From link above:
     
  12. Doubting Thomas

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    Tauf and Southernboy,

    Wow...thanks for sharing! That seems to be the path I'm on now. I too have been a lifelong Southern Baptist, but over the past 3 or so years, after studying the Scriptures and early Chruch History, I've concluded that many of my long cherished baptist beliefs are doctrinal novelties, not part of the historical consensus of the Church. Currently, I'm in "denominational limbo" for family reasons, but I would become an Orthodox catechumen tomorrow if I could.
    God bless you both on your journey. [​IMG]

    DT
     
  13. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    I attended some kind of Orthodox church a year or two ago - lots of praying to pictures, tons of incense, loads of ritual and liturgy (things you never see in scripture).

    I think it was still better than Catholicism - but it seems to have just as much dry formality.

    What did I miss?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    BTW - something was mentioned about anabaptists "as if" the church was teaching that the first century Christians record a lot of "infant baptism". Since even the Catholic historians admit that this is false - I have never been able to see where the "incentive' comes from to deny scripture, and history AND EVEN one of the oldest infant-baptizing groups (The RCC's via their historians) on the subject of HOW it evolved into infant baptism over the centuries.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. mioque

    mioque
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    "What did I miss?"
    "
    Presumably the part where the congregation takes part in the Divine.

    Or to put it in more secular terms, for some reason tons people seem to think that the Eastern-Orthodox liturgies are the most beautiful and meaningfull set of religious ceremonies on earth.
     
  16. Doubting Thomas

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    Good answer. [​IMG]
     
  17. Eric B

    Eric B
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    So you still haven't been baptized yet? Does that mean that you would be lost if you died today?
    Why would they keep holding out for so long?
     
  18. D28guy

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    Concerning the Orthodox faith, it was posted....

    (the bolding is mine)

    (((WARNING!)))

    Danger ahead.

    Proceed with extreme caution.

    Mike
     
  19. Doubting Thomas

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    Nope, I have been baptized.
    God is the judge of that. (I don't presume I'm unconditionally "eternally secure" just because I prayed the sinner's prayer once upon a time.) [​IMG]
     
  20. mioque

    mioque
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    D28guy
    what did you expect? Eastern-Orthodoxy used to be one half of the Catholic Church for a 1000 years.
     

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